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Healthy holiday cooking tips

12/02/2013

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – You love cookies and holiday breads, but you don’t love the calories? Well, have no fear. Jennifer Ruby, Registered Dietitian with Summit Endocrinology has offered some tips on healthy substitutes in your holiday baking.

There are some ingredients that can be substituted for items like butter, egg, oil, and sugar, Ruby, explained

According to Ruby, when making holiday cookies and breads you can substitute one-third to one-half of the oil in the recipe with applesauce, prune puree, mashed bananas or any other pureed soft fruit. 

“You can reduce the sugar by one-third in a recipe but you may have to increase some of the spices and flavorings,” she said. “And, if you want the same level of sweetness, you can use Equal or Splenda blends, which will cut back on some of the calories but will still maintain the sweetness.”

She also provided tips for chocolate substitutes.

“If your recipe contains chocolate, try using cocoa powder instead of baker’s chocolate to add the chocolaty flavor without the fat,” she noted. “If you are making chocolate chip cookies use a half a bag of the mini chocolate chips because they will stretch further.” 

Ruby also said you could try using the dark chocolate which has health benefits.

Ruby also stated that using egg whites or an egg substitute will help to reduce the fat and cholesterol in recipes that call for eggs.

So, if you’re worried about the calories this holiday season, you may want to try Ruby’s suggestions on making this holiday a healthier one. 

“Just remember, keep portion size in mind, whether it is the original version of the food or the one made with the healthier ingredients,” Ruby said.

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Summit Endocrinology is an affiliate of Summit Health.

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